Easy Ways to Personalize a Funeral Service on a Budget

By: Ian Elliott
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Funerals can be an overwhelming time, not only emotionally stressful but possibly financially as well.  Just like any major event it is important to establish a budget and stay within it.  However, it sometimes becomes more difficult with funerals because our nature is to provide the very best service for our loved one.  During this article we will take a look at five ways to help cut some costs of funerals without sacrificing the beauty of the service. 


1. Phone  

Call a few funeral homes and ask for their “general price list”, which, by law, must itemize their charges.  These can be obtained in person, emailed or faxed to you.  This allows you to compare costs in the comfort of your home.  Also, ask for the prices of packaged services.  Packaged services must also be broken down and itemized.  When you have a better understanding of costs, you will be able to pick the funeral home that best suits your budget and needs.  It is important not to pick the first one that you speak with, as it is a way to stray off your budget. 


2. Have the Funeral at Church 

A more cost efficient funeral is having the service at your local church or religious center. They are less expensive than having your service at the funeral home.  What better way to celebrate the life of your loved one than in your own place of worship?  Many churches will have a fee guide with regards to your service in the church.  These costs would include the use of the church, the reception area, musician and clergy.  Those attending the service may bring a tray of sandwiches, vegetables, or pastries, or you may decide to have it professionally catered. Regular attending members of the church would most likely pay a nominal fee or not have to pay at all compared to one using the church who has only a religious affiliation but is not a member of the congregation. 


3. Have Your Service at Home 

An increasingly popular practice today for budget friendly services is having the funeral at home.  By having the service or memorial at home you are making it more personable and cost efficient for you.  There are many things that you can do when planning an at home funeral.  For example, you have control over how many attend and can make it more personable and tailored towards your loved one.  Placing pictures or personal items of your loved one around the room will encourage people to share memories of your loved one.  When you perform an at home funeral, it is said to be reclaiming some of the intimacy that is lacking at other services. If you are not keen on having the service in your home, you may also consider having it in their favorite park or another location of sentimental value.  


4. Bring Your Own Flowers 

In many funeral packages, there are florist packages that you can purchase; however, many people do not realize that you do not have to purchase everything within the package. The cost for flowers in these packages are generally priced by the funeral home not the florist.  It is actually more cost efficient if you purchase your own flowers for the service. Some funeral homes like Arbutus Funeral Service have floral books from a florist in which the florist has placed their own pricing.   This offers a convenience of not having to make time for getting your flowers, yet purchasing at the florists’ rate.  You can also purchase flowers from bulk retailers, bring flowers from your garden or even ask friends who have flowers in their garden.  Using flowers from your garden or a friends’ is very meaningful and a wonderful tribute to your loved one. 


5. Keep the Service Small 

When you are able to keep the service small, you are keeping the cost small. But do not think that by making the service small, you are making it less important or personable. For a smaller service and reception, provide your own food and refreshments or ask friends and family to bring a dish. 

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